Spitsbergen & North East Greenland 14 daysAboard: MV Plancius
This fantastic Arctic itinerary offers the best of both worlds with time spent along the beautiful west coast of Spitsbergen, with great chances of polar bear sightings, and then on to the less-visited northeast coast of Greenland, where you will see a diverse range of scenery and wildlife, with the highlight of sailing in Scoresby Sund, the longest and most spectacular fjord system in the world. At this time of year, there is also a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
Note: this itinerary is conducted on a bilingual basis in English & German
- Amazing West Spitsbergen scenery and wildlife including possible sightings of polar bears
- Spectacular Scoresby Sund
- Amazing mountain, glacier and tundra landscapes
- Whales, musk oxen and other wildlife
- Good chances of seeing the Northern Lights!
- Inuit culture
- Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
- All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
So much to experience
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Your Spitsbergen and Greenland expedition cruise will begin in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago, where after having arrived independently you can enjoy a stroll around this former mining town before making your way to the port to embark your ship in the afternoon. After settling in to your cabin and exploring your new surroundings, the ship will depart in the early evening. As we sail out of Isfjorden we recommend spending some time on deck where you may spot the first minke whale of your voyage following the ship in the waters below.
Various flight and land package options are available for transport to Longyearbyen, please enquire for full details.
Today will be spent at sea sailing north towards Raudfjorden, on the very north coast of Spitsbergen. As we sail you will be able to sample some of the spectacular scenery that Spitsbergen is famous for as we travel through an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers. Already we will be on the lookout for fascinating wildlife sightings including the ringed and bearded seals that often frequent the fjord and the thriving seabird colonies that reside in the cliffs and along the shorelines. We will also have good chances of spotting polar bears!
Your program of expert lectures and presentations will also begin, covering everything from the history of Polar exploration to the geological features and wildlife you are likely to encounter on your voyage.
En route to Greenland
These two days will be spent on board sailing across the Greenland Sea. As we sail you can enjoy the onboard lecture and presentation program, relax in your comfortable ship surroundings or spend some time on deck watching for the whales and migrating seabirds that are likely to be following the ship.
As we approach Greenland the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice will gradually come into sight and the excitement will build as we near these vast and intriguing lands.
As we finally reach Greenland’s east coast our first adventure here will be to attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt. We hope to make our first landing Myggebugten to discover this area’s unique landscape and tundra where we will see good numbers of musk oxen, an early 20th century hunters’ hut and pretty lakes frequented by geese.
Later we will sail through the magnificent Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord where towering mountains and huge icebergs surround you on all sides to create amazing photo opportunities and an awe-inspiring feeling of nature’s true powers. An alternative route will be Sofia Sund, which is much narrower, and where we can see musk oxen from the ship.
As with all polar expeditions, itinerary flexibility is the key, and each day your captain and experienced crew will determine the best course to travel in order to provide you with the very best scenic and wildlife observation opportunities.
Today we will arrive at Teufelschloss (Devil’s Castle), where we will land at Blomsterbugt to view some magnificent geological formations as well as seeing the Arctic hares and great northern divers that are often found here.
After an exploration of Blomsterbugt we will sail into Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. We hope to land at the particularly beautiful Maria island.
This morning your ship will sail between the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains into the geologically remarkable Segelsällskapets Fjord. We hope to land on the south shore to see the intriguing ancient sedimentary formations that sweep the landscape and enjoy a hike to a nearby small lake to see Arctic hares, musk oxen and ptarmigans.
Later in the afternoon we will sail to the dramatic peak-surrounded Alpefjord to enjoy a thrilling Zodiac cruise around Gully glacier and onwards deep into the fjord. A true Greenland adventure experience.
This morning we will spend some time in Antarctic Havn to explore this extensive valley that is home to large groups of musk oxen and fiery autumn-coloured tundra. In the afternoon we will get back on board to begin our sail to Scoresby Sund.
Today may well be the highlight of your whole trip as we reach the spectacular iceberg graveyard of Scoresbysund, the longest and most spectacular fjord system in the world. After sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst we can board our Zodiacs for a thrilling cruise along the glacier fronts before visiting the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. This part of Greenland offers breathtaking photo opportunities and simply needs to be seen to be believed.
After a thrilling morning we will enjoy a calmer afternoon on Danmark Island where we can take a gentle stroll across the landscape to see the remains of an Inuit settlement that was abandoned over 200 years ago. This interesting walk will allow us to closely observe these well-preserved sites and learn more about life on Greenland many years ago. Later in the evening we will re-board the ship and sail west, further into the berg-crowded fjords.
Røde Ø & Sydkap
Another exciting day lies ahead as you enjoy a Zodiac cruise at one of the world’s most enchanting iceberg sites, Røde Ø. Your cameras will get a great workout here as you capture the unique sights of the austere blue-white icebergs sharply contrasting against the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. After your adventurous Zodiac cruise it will be time to get back on board for a more relaxing cruise through the northern parts of Røde Fjord, keeping a lookout for the musk oxen grazing along the coasts.
The next day’s adventures will bring more encounters with colossal icebergs, some standing over 100 metres high, before we land at Sydkap to enjoy the excellent views Hall Bredning and good chances of seeing Arctic hares.
This morning we will have time to explore Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet, where we can enjoy a gentle walk along the tundra before making our way to Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund. Frozen in for nine months a year and sandwiched between the largest national park and longest fjord system in the world, the setting of this tiny outpost is simply stunning. It also bears the distinction of being the remotest inhabited community in the western hemisphere. Home to approximately 500 residents, Ittoqqortoormiit is a delightfully picturesque settlement that is a joy to walk around.
In the afternoon we will get back on board to sail past the beautiful landscapes of the Blosseville Coast and bid our fond farewells to Greenland.
The last day of our voyage will be spent at sea sailing across the Denmark Strait towards Iceland. And although it may be our last day, there is still some excitement left to be had as we spend some time on deck searching for seabirds and whale sightings. As night time approaches there will be a sense of anticipation in the air as we wait for updates on our chances of seeing the Northern Lights as we sail. We hope for good news as we make our way to deck in expectation of witnessing this beautiful natural phenomenon.
Arrival in Akureyri
Your adventure ends in the Icelandic town of Akureyri where after breakfast you will disembark to make your way homewards or onwards. A 6-hour bus transfer to Reykjavik city centre is available upon request at an additional charge. Please enquire for full details as this transfer should be booked in advance so as to avoid disappointment.
A view from Above
Plancius was built as a Dutch oceanographic research vessel and refurbished as a passenger ship in 2009. It has ice strengthened bow and stern and is ideal for polar sailing. There is a mixture of suites and cabins, all with window or porthole. Some have private facilities and some shared. There are twin, triple and quadruple cabins suitable for sharing. Public areas are a spacious observation lounge and bar, library, lecture theatre and dining room along with plenty of outside deck space and an open-bridge policy. Rubber boots are supplied for all passengers.
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